After tortuous negotiations in the last four days and a last-minute hiccup from Cuba and three others Latin American countries opposing a deal, the Ministers reached an agreement in discussions that extended beyond the four-day schedule.
“We did it...it is a historic deal...these are historic achievements...but there is still much to do...,” Gita added.
The WTO has achieved a major breakthrough since 1995, when it was formed. The deal also keeps alive the possibility of a broader agreement to create a level playing field for rich and poor nations in the future. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo thanked host nation Indonesia and member countries for success of the Bali talks. “We have put the world back into the World Trade Organisation,” he said, adding, “For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered.”
There was not much of hope when the talks started especially after India put up a tough and unrelenting stand on the food security issue and subsidy, almost threatening collapse of the negotiations.
But Dec 6, it was agreed that nations such as India would be allowed to fix Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farm produce and also to sell staple grains to the poor at subsidised rates. It was also agreed to permit countries to store foodgrains to meet contingency. WTO members gave developing nations a temporary dispensation from subsidy limits, shelving the issue for negotiations at a later time.ency requirements. The talks were threatened at the eleventh hour when Cuba objected to removal of a reference to the decades-long US trade embargo that Cuba wants lifted. The centrepiece of the agreement reached in Bali was measures to ease barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent. (PTI)